The Vermont Institutes--Equity and Excellence for All Students
VI HomeAbout VIDirections to VIEmployment OptionsProfessional Development DirectoryVI Programs and PartnersVI PublicationsFind it!SitemapStaff

Parent and Community Guides || Equity Benchmarks || Curriculum Publications
|| Links to Standards and Other Resources
Online Publications || Vermont Framework || Research Reports || Program Brochures

Program Brochures

Read about our programs in these handy PDF brochures.

Parent and Community Guides

The VISMT (The Vermont Institute for Science, Math and Technology--Vermont's Statewide Systemic Initiative and VI's predecessor) Parent Guide series was funded through a grant from the Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation. The booklets focus on assessment, curriculum, classroom teaching, technology, and the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. VISMT and other education improvement organizations in Vermont are grateful to the Foundation for its thoughtful support of programs that are improving the education of our children.

  1. Understanding Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities
  2. Technology in the Classroom
  3. The Opportunity to Learn - Equity in Vermont Schools
  4. Understanding Assessment in Vermont Schools

Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities

The purpose of the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities is to improve student learning. It will serve as a resource to educators and others designing curriculum and assessment at the local level, and it makes explicit the basis for statewide assessment.

Standards identify what all students should know and be able to do. Essential knowledge is what students should know. It includes the most important and enduring ideas, issues, dilemmas, principles, and concepts from the disciplines. Essential skills are what students should be able to do. Skills are ways of thinking, working, communicating, and investigating. There are also behaviors and attitudes related to success in and outside of school. These include (but are not limited to) studying well, providing evidence to back up assertions, and developing productive, satisfying relationships with others. Frequently, standards are accompanied by evidence of how the standard can be demonstrated.

Learning opportunities are recommended practices to support all students in attaining the standards in this framework. They address access, instruction, assessment, and connections, as well as best practices particular to the fields of knowledge. They are specific, they represent areas that can be influenced by the teacher, and they are supported by current research and best practices. Examples of recommended practices follow each learning opportunity.

January 1996
top of page

Equity Benchmarks 

To facilitate the implementation of equitable learning environments in Vermont, the VISMT Equity Advisory Committee developed the following Benchmarks for schools and districts. We realize that these Equity Benchmarks cover a wide range, from specific categories to long-range goals. Our purpose is to provide some guidance in this effort.

Curriculum Publications

In addition to the curriculum reviews, VISMT created two additional publications that support the implementation of strong, standards-based science and math curriculum.

Published Science, Mathematics, and Technology Programs That Fully Align with Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. This November 1998 publication identifies elementary, middle, and high school programs that incorporate content AND best practices as identified by the Vermont Framework. Readers should recognize that this list is subject to change over time

2. A Guide for Local Standards-Based Science Curriculum. While the previous guide identifies what programs will work with the Vermont Framework, this 1998 guide describes how to implement them effectively. From laying out a template for the process to supplying descriptive vignettes about schools immersed in change, this guide will prove to be invaluable as schools seek to implement meaningful curriculum reform.


The work represented in this publication is the result of the collaboration between The Vermont Institutes, the Vermont Department of Education and the Council of Chief State School Officers. You will find this work extremely helpful as you design and implement local assessments. Read about it and download the handbook by clicking here!

The Vermont Teacher Quality Enhancement Program (TQE) is pleased to make the Vermont Field Guide to Educator Mentoring (published 2003) available to you as a PDF document from the TQE website. This book will be a handy and useful resource as school leaders continue to organize structured mentoring and colleague support programs in their schools and districts, and as policy continues to be developed. Click here to review The Vermont Field Guide to Educator Mentoring.

VISMT: A Statewide Systemic Initiative describes the past results and current endeavors of the Vermont Institute for Science, Math, and Technology. Examining all aspects of VISMT's work, the booklet informs readers of the progress made in Vermont's schools as we engage students in high quality science, math, and technology instruction.

VERMONT SYSTEMIC INITIATIVE (SSI) 1992-2003 contains the annual and final report; an interim report for the period September 1992 through August 2003; as well as Systemic Initiative Core Data Elements (SSI Collection Results, Vermont 2003; Findings 2001-02 School Year Collection Report for Vermont; and Findings Report 2003)

Other Booklets:
top of page

Raising Scores in Problem Solving 

How to Use Raising Scores in Problem Solving     

If You Don't Know What to Do - Problem Solve!

Research Reports

Complexity and Leadership             

Impact of National Standards

Mapping Change

National Strategies for Educational Technology

Teacher Leadership

Schools That Work

Assessment, for both the improvement of performance and evaluating learners, is most effective when it reflects learning as "multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time" (Walvoord & Anderson, 1998). With that in mind, what do networks and new media have to offer that can assist and improve educational assessment? This paper asserts that network-based assessment offers fundamentally new possibilities for knowing what students know.
So begins a recent article about network-based assessment by David Gibson, VI's Director of Research and Development, published in the CITE journal. Click here or on the title above to read the article in its entirety.

Links to Standards and Other Resources top of page

From VISMT: A Guide for Local Standards-Based Science Curriculum

PASS--Partnership for the Assessment of Standards-based Science

Mid - Continent Regional Lab

U.S. Dept. of Education

Eight Questions You Should Ask Before Implementing Standards

Math Forum @ Drexel (fka Swarthmore Math Forum)

NW Regional Educational Laboratory's Assessment Tool Kit

National Science Teachers Association--NSTA Standards Page

TERC's Hands On! Magazine

The National Science Education Standards

International Society for Technology in Education

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory--Pathways to School Improvement

National Math Standards

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation  


No one said meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act would be easy. To help schools, districts, and state departments of education overcome the challenges of the law, the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University has designed this web site, a combination of manuals, research reports, professional suggestions, and ideas about how best to implement the legislation in schools nationwide. Educators and parents will find everything from simplified explanations of the law’s provisions—including school choice, supplemental services, and parents’ right to know—to educator-provided suggestions for a smoother implementation. The information on the site is broken down and simplified with charts and bullet points so stakeholders can get quick and immediate answers to questions without wading through the legal jargon contained in the bill itself.


VI's Information Technology Research and Data page           IT's Filtering Links page

The Vermont Institutes' Equity News                                         VI's Equity Resources page

Online Publications


top of page

Page updated October 31, 2005

©2004 The Vermont Institutes
All rights reserved.